With elections looming ahead, my friend looked increasingly agitated I asked why
With elections looming ahead, my friend looked increasingly agitated. I asked why.
‘We have so many options online for everything,’ he said. ‘Then why do we have so few, unattractive and uninspiring options in politics? In a country with over a billion people, surely we could do better than just one or two choices don’t you think?’
I nodded in agreement.
‘I have an idea that can change things,’ he said.
I asked what his idea was.
‘The ideal government,’ he said. ‘It works professionally, efficiently and honestly. It makes perfect decisions and shows progress clearly. It understands us and our needs and makes our lives easier. It is accessible, responsive, compassionate and humane. That’s my idea.’
I wondered if he was under the influence of banned psychotropic substances. ‘We all know that our political parties are inaccessible, do not take us into confidence, are rude, are bad decision makers, not transparent and not compassionate,’ I said. ‘You have an idea that will change all that? How?’
‘iPolls,’ said my friend. ‘Or iPoliticians. They are the answer to all our problems.’
I was aghast. ‘But they are the root cause of all our problems,’ I protested. ‘Politicians who cannot think beyond themselves. “I” as in egoistic right?’
‘No, no’ said my friend. ‘iPolls are next gen politicians. Like iPhones. We can shop online for them. See! I realised it is not humanly possible to be humane. That’s when I got a wonderful idea. Why have humans govern us when they cannot even find an address without help? Why not something beyond human that’s more efficient and understands us better than we understand ourselves? Something we can return instantly if found faulty.’
Poor fellow. He seemed to have lost his senses. ‘What exactly do you have in mind?’ I asked. ‘Politicians with complete knowledge of everything, great at decision making, polite, good looking and not-egoistic,’ said my friend.
‘Would you vote for such politicians?’
‘Without doubt,’ I said. ‘But where will you find them? On Mars?’
‘Right here! Soon as we manufacture iPolls - Internet based gadgets that are programmed to govern,’ said my friend. ‘Like self-driving cars iPolls are politicians powered by technology. You have seen how well tech giants like Google or Facebook or Amazon know us, understand us, care for us, predict and solve our problems.
We cannot trust humans any longer. Technology is the future for politics too. Once products like iPolls are allowed to contest elections, our lives will change instantly.’ How, I asked. ‘Easy! iPolls will know us far better than any other politician because they have access to everything about our lives. Just like any tech company or any government they can predict and influence. And they are less human and more humane.’
I was stunned. ‘How will it help tackle corruption or population?’ I asked.
‘Corruption would disappear because iPoll would track every move of ours,’ said he. ‘Population would be under control since iPoll would know exactly when people are likely to get in the mood and can take necessary steps to distract. Crime will fall, health and education will improve. All progress will be recorded minute by minute and displayed. Instant justice, top notch efficiency. Full transparency’.
My jaw dropped.
‘iPolls are polite. They look better. They are accessible night and day unlike our netas. They respond instantly. What more do you want?’ ‘Sounds too good to be true,’ I said. ‘But will people want to be ruled by a gadget even if it is efficient? You may have a problem convincing people there.’ ‘Oh, that’s the easiest part,’ said my friend confidently. ‘Our lives are ruled by gadgets anyway.’